Setting Up Your ShipStation Account

Congratulations on choosing ShipStation! This article will help you quickly set up your account so you can start importing your orders and shipping them immediately!

There are four essential steps to take to start shipping your orders with ShipStation. You can do all four of these steps using the Onboard screen, which you will see when you first log in. Just keep in mind you can also perform any of these actions in your account settings.

  • Connect a Store

    The most common way to import orders into ShipStation is through a connected store (although this is not the only way to import orders).

  • Activate Savings on Carrier Rates

    Add the payment method you wish to use to purchase labels with ShipStation's discounted rates. If you already have your own carrier accounts, you can also connect them here. For certain subscription plans, there may be additional costs associated with connecting and shipping with your own carrier accounts.

  • Select a Label Layout

    ShipStation creates 4" x 6" labels (or approximately 100mm x 150mm for our metric unit friends). Tell ShipStation if you use a 4" x 6" thermal label printer or a standard printer that prints to an 8.5" x 11" sheet.

  • Set a Ship From Location

    The Ship From Location is the address where you are shipping from. All carriers require this information, and you cannot create a shipping label without it. If you have more than one, no problem! Add as many as you need.

Once you have completed these steps, you can start importing your orders and creating labels. This article will guide you through the setup steps on ShipStation's Onboard screen. These options are also available in your account settings, so you can configure or modify them whenever you need.

Return to the Onboard Screen

If you navigate away from the Onboard screen before you have completed all the steps, just click the Onboard tab to return.

ShipStation's top navigation bar with the Onboard tab highlighted

Account Setup Demo Video

This video demonstrates how to set up your ShipStation account from the first time you log in, and guides you through creating and printing your first label.

Click the chapter markers in the video if you wish to jump ahead to another section.

ShipStation University Intro to ShipStation Course

If learning by doing is more your style, take the ShipStation University Intro to ShipStation course. The lesson videos will show you how to navigate ShipStation, connect stores and carrier accounts, import orders, configure your shipments, and create your labels!

Connect a Store

The first option on the Onboard screen is to connect a store (also called a selling channel). 

Connecting to your online store is the most common way to get orders into ShipStation so you can start shipping them. However, you can manually create orders in ShipStation without a connected store, and you can use the Rate Calculator to create a label without an order. If you do not need to connect a store at this time, skip ahead to the Activate Savings on Carrier Rates section.

To connect your store so you can import orders:

  1. Choose Connect a Channel.

    Connect a channel button in the Onboard screen.
  2. Select the store platform you want to connect from the list.

    Type the store platform name into the search bar to filter which options you see.

    List of selling channel options available to connect to ShipStation.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to connect your store.

    The specific connection steps will differ from store to store. For details on a specific store connection process, view our Store & Marketplace Integrations article and click on your selling channel name.

You may continue to add selling channels here or move on to the next step. You can always add more selling channels later by going to Settings > Selling Channels > Store Setup.

Import Orders

Once you have successfully connected a store (or stores), you can start importing your orders right away so they are ready for you when you've completed your account setup.

Orders ready to ship will import into the Awaiting Shipment status in your Orders tab.

selling channel

Activate Savings on Carrier Rates

ShipStation gives you immediate access to discounted rates on selected carriers, so you are not required to add your own accounts. We call these carriers ShipStation Carriers. Simply activate these carriers by entering your preferred payment method.

If you have other carriers you'd like to ship with, you can also connect these accounts to ShipStation. We call these carriers Your Carriers. Depending on which subscription plan you choose, shipping with these carriers may incur an additional fee.

To activate ShipStation Carriers:

  1. Choose Activate Savings

    Set up carriers button on the Onboard screen.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions.

    You'll be prompted to enter a label payment method, agree to the terms and conditions, and add funds to your ShipStation Balance (this balance is used to purchase labels).

Once you have completed the setup steps, you can then connect your own carrier accounts or move on to the next step, Select a Label Layout.

To connect one of your own carrier accounts:

  1. Choose Add Existing Carrier Accounts

    Or, if you have a fulfillment provider like Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), choose Add a Fulfillment Provider.

  2. Select the carrier or provider you want to connect.

    Carrier selection for United States accounts.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

    The specific steps required to connect will vary from carrier to carrier. For more information on a specific carrier process and requirements, view our Carrier Integrations article and choose your carrier's name.

You may continue to add carrier accounts on the Onboard screen or move on to the next step. You can always add more carriers later by going to Settings > Shipping > Carriers.

Your Carriers Add-On Required After Trial Period

If you have connected your own carrier accounts during your trial period, you will be prompted upon signing up for a subscription plan to enable the Your Carriers add-on, which allows you to continue to create labels with your carriers after the trial period. The fee for the Your Carriers add-on will vary by plan level. and Endicia accounts do not require the Your Carriers add-on.

Select a Label Layout

All labels created in ShipStation are 4" × 6" labels, which are suitable for thermal label printers. If you use an inkjet or laser printer to print multiple labels on a standard letter-sized sheet, ShipStation adjusts the label orientation 90 degrees to print two labels horizontally on an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper.

To ensure ShipStation creates the right label for your printer, you must set your label layout for the type of printer you use.

To select a label layout:

  1. Choose Select a Label Layout.

    Select a label layout button on the Onboard screen.
  2. Select the format that matches the type of printer you use and choose whether to print only the labels or to print labels and packing slips together. 

    Label layout options for 4x6 labels or traditional printers.
    • Choose one of the 4" x 6" options if you use a thermal label printer, like a DYMO or Zebra.

    • Choose one of the 8.5" x 11" options if you use an inkjet or laser printer.

  3. Click Save changes

    You can change your label layout at any time in Settings > Printing > Printing Setup > Label Document Options.

Label Formats with Packing Slips

If you select a label layout that includes a packing slip, your label and packing slip will always print together when printing a label. You can still print packing slips separately, but the label's format setting sets the packing slip format. You will not be able to set a unique packing slip format for printing individual packing slips.

Set Ship From Location

To successfully calculate rates and print labels, you must add the address where your packages ship from. We call this a Ship From Location.

To add a Ship From Location on the Onboard screen:

  1. Choose Set Ship From Location.

    Set Ship From Location button in the Onboard screen.
  2. Enter a Location Name (this is how ShipStation will refer to this address in drop-down menus).

    Then, fill in the fields for the Pickup Address.

    Blank Add a Ship From Location form.

    If your Return Address is different than the Pickup Address, uncheck Use Pickup Address as Return address and enter the return address.

    Adding Ship From Phone Number Recommended!

    While not all carriers require a phone number for the Ship From Location, some carriers (like UPS and DHL Express) do. We recommend always entering a phone number for your Ship From Location to avoid any errors when creating labels.

  3. Click Save when finished.

You can now click Complete Setup and start shipping! ShipStation will take you to your Awaiting Shipment orders so you can start shipping!

storeselling channel